A Taste of Norfolk
Duration: 6 3/4 hours
Tour Code: ORF-003
This tour offers a wonderful overview of Norfolk and features several of its iconic attractions.
Boarding your coach at the pier, you'll first set-off for the Hermitage Foundation Museum. Nestled on 12 beautifully landscaped acres alongside the picturesque Lafayette River, this Tudor-style mansion was built in 1908 and features an outstanding collection of Eastern and Western art. The museum's collections are displayed in a unique home-like setting and represent the arts of America, England, France, Italy, Persia, Russia, Spain and the Far East. Included in the collection are paintings, sculptures, ivories, ritual bronzes, jade, Oriental rugs, tapestries, laces, embroidery and furniture. A visit to the Hermitage gives the 21st century visitor a sense of the life and artistic interests of a wealthy family in Virginia during the 1st half of the 20th century.
Next, enjoy a narrated panoramic tour through Norfolk's beautiful historic and restored areas. Your tour guide will point out many attractions adjacent to the cruise terminal and downtown area, such as Nauticus - The National Maritime Center, the Battleship Wisconsin, and the Moses Myers House, built in 1792 which still contains over 70 percent of the original furnishings. You will then drive by old St. Paul's Church, built in 1739 and the lone survivor of the 1776 bombardment of Norfolk by the British. The church still has a cannonball embedded in its outside wall! View the Chrysler Museum, one of the top twenty art museums in the country, and the old Freemason Historic District. You will also drive past the beautiful turn of the century homes along The Hague and the historic Ghent district.
Enjoy lunch at Freemason Abbey Restaurant, located in a 135 year-old renovated church, and in the heart of downtown Norfolk. The building was built, and originally dedicated as a church in 1873 by the congregation of the Second Presbyterian Church. In 1988, the planning of the Freemason Abbey Restaurant & Tavern began and the decor is designed to create a warm, casual yet elegant, tavern atmosphere.
Following lunch, your tour resumes with a visit to Rowena's, one of the country's leading mail-order companies for fresh baked pound cakes and unique jams, jellies and sauces. Now located in Norfolk's historic Ghent section, the business began modestly in Rowena's family kitchen with gourmet holiday gifts for friends and neighbors. In May 1983, Rowena opened her gourmet manufacturing facility with one full time employee and a strong determination to succeed. The facility now includes a retail store, staff offices, two spacious kitchens and two warehouses. A number of national publications have featured Rowena's including Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Ladies Home Journal, Taste of Home, Redbook and Southern Living. Rowena's products have been showcased on PBS, the 700 Club and the Food Network. During your visit, you will be treated to a tour of the production facility - have a chance to see the warehouse, as well as shop in the retail store.
Continuing on, enjoy a visit to the Norfolk Botanical Garden, which dates back to 1938, and is considered a premiere example of horticultural excellence on the East Coast of the United States. The Garden represents 155-acres of colorful landscapes, unusual flowers, mature forests and seasonal plantings and features one of the largest collections of azaleas, camellias, roses and rhododendrons in the United States. The thousands of azaleas typically reach their peak blooming season in mid-April and represent a majestic display of seasonal colors. Relax on a narrated trackless train ride through the winding garden pathways, and spend time browsing in the Garden Gift Shop which specializes in unique home and garden items and gifts.
No visit to Norfolk would be complete without a stop at Doumar's, home of the world's first ice cream cone machine and happily, this is your final tour stop. Abe Doumar created the first ice cream cone at the World's Fair of 1904 in St. Louis. It was so successful that he designed a four-iron waffle machine that he launched during the Jamestown Exposition of 1907. Today, the family business still bakes cones on the original cone machine, and has been recently featured on The Food Network's "Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins". While at Doumar's, a member of the Doumar family will give you an introduction and all guests will be treated to a tasty ice cream cone before re-boarding the coach and traveling back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking over mostly even surfaces; plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. There will be a few steps to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The tour sequence may vary.
Pre-Menu Selections are required for lunch and must be advised to the Destination Services Desk at least 24 hours in advance:
All options include oven baked rolls, chef’s choice of dessert, coffee, iced tea, or soft drink..
1: Abbey Club Sandwich - Turkey, Black Forest ham, Swiss, bacon, lettuce and tomato, on toasted sourdough with a hot & smoky mayo, served w/kettle chips
2: French Dip - Roast beef, thinly sliced, heated on a sub roll with Swiss cheese and grilled onions. Served with au jus for dipping.
3: Waldorf Chicken Salad Sandwich - homemade chicken salad with walnuts and apples served on a Kaiser with lettuce, tomato, and Kettle chips.